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Samuel C. Giangreco, who started as a sales representative 51 years ago and worked his way up to become chairman of the board of Hy-Grade Distributors, died Sunday (March 29, 1998) in Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after a brief illness. He was 76.

The Buffalo native attended Grover Cleveland High School and earned a degree from the University of Buffalo's Millard Fillmore College.

Giangreco joined the U.S. Navy after high school and served as a yeoman first class in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Shortly after his discharge in 1947, he was hired as a sales representative for Hy-Grade Paper Co., a distributor of paper products and restaurant supplies. He became a partner and vice president in 1962.

Ten years later, the company changed its name to Hy-Grade Distributors to reflect the increased diversification of product lines. With this change, Giangreco became president. In the early 1980s, he became chairman of the company, which now specializes in paper, packaging, janitorial products and equipment, office furniture and accessories and operates a division in advertising specialties and marketing.

An avid tennis player, he won the 1951 Buffalo doubles championship. He spent winters with his wife, the former Mary Gallo, in Florida, where his favorite pastime was playing gin rummy.

Giangreco was a member of the Romulus Club; Council 184, Knights of Columbus; the Ad Club; Buffalo Athletic Club; Buffalo Launch Club; Bridgewater Country Club and the Holy Name Society of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

In addition to his wife of 46 years, he is survived by three sons, Samuel T. of Clarence and Paul T. and Mark G., both of Williamsville; a sister, Marie Futia of Greenwich, Conn.; and 10 grandchildren.

Prayers will be said at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, Amherst. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 in St. Rose of Lima Church, Parkside and Parker streets. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

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